Homebrew Inductors

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by K0OKS, Sep 1, 2018.

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  1. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am gradually acquiring parts to build a home brew link coupled tuner. I was planning on building my own inductors out of copper tubing.

    What kind of advantage would I realize if I home-electroplated the tubing with silver? Has anyone tried this?

  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless you are working with UHF transmitters, then you will really not see any difference except how the coil "looks". Even for UHF the difference is often hard to measure.

    Most coils in HF, and VHF, commercially manufactured transmitters were just "tinned" with solder and not actually silver plated.

    Glen, K9STH
    K0OKS likes this.
  3. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting. I actually think the copper looks better, just thought it might be fun and relatively easy to electroplate it if it would help. This tuner will be HF only, maybe 50MHz, but no higher.
  4. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    But tin/solder is no match for silver in term of conductivity.

    Electroplating is simple. A little silver nitrate, a silver coin, and a power supply.

    Trust me, aesthetically copper would "go" with the look of my tuner much better. I have a beautiful copper, Russian vacuum variable cap as big as a Nerf football, and a Cardwell 50-1200pF air variable that is about the size of a cat.
  6. K6BSU

    K6BSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Copper tarnishes readily. Un plated copper would require frequent cleaning. Even tin plated copper wears out with roller inductors. If inductor is fixed, copper wire can be protected from tarnishing by brushing or spraying clear lacquer. Copper does look nice when polished!
    K0OKS likes this.
  7. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the reply. A lacquer coating is probably a good idea. It will be a tapped inductor.
    G4COE likes this.
  8. G4COE

    G4COE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Trouble with liquid tin it can grow whiskers.... tin whiskers. If you must protect the inductor try clear conformal coating.... PCB lacquer that's used to protect copper tracks on printed circuit boards and his easily soldered through.

  9. AG5CK

    AG5CK Ham Member QRZ Page

    My link coupled tuner is outside and has been in service for a couple of years now. I used 1/4" copper tubing and copper clips directly on the tubing. Mueller BU-25C clips. The tubing is not plated and I haven't had any problems with the copper clips. At first I was using some zinc plated clips and started having issues after a couple of weeks. As long as you avoid using dissimilar metals you should be ok.
    K0OKS likes this.
  10. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks guys. Great info.

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